Mascara is a cosmetic applicator used to enhance the eyelashes by darkening, thickening, lengthening, or curling them. For years women have craved beautifully curled eyelashes that accent their eyes and face. Some ways to achieve this include using eyelash curlers, curling mascara, or both. Curling mascara is specially formulated to make the natural eyelashes curl up more even without a curling device. How this is achieved varies from brand to brand, but in many cases, the formula simply holds the natural curl better than the brands that are not designed to do so. The formula is not the only part of the puzzle, though. The brush on the wand is equally as important because the bristles grab the lashes, separate them to apply evenly, and pull upwards to make them curl. The brush itself is what provides the ample coverage of the mascara over the eyelashes.
Needless to say, there are quite a few things to consider when shopping for curling mascara and no two brands are the same, which can be very frustrating. It is not uncommon for women to buy several different kinds before finding one that they feel is decent. The expense of finding one through trial and error can get quite expensive. It is much better to do some research beforehand so that there is less frustration and money spent.
History of Mascara
The use of mascara began with ancient Egypt around 4000 BC. They used something called "kohl" to darken their eyelashes, eyebrows, and around the eyes. However, they did not mark around the eyes for beauty, both men and women did it to protect their souls and ward off evil. In order to keep the kohl from running, they added galena, malachite, charcoal, crocodile stool, and honey to the mixture. This mixture was said to be used by Greeks and Romans as well.
After the Roman empire, the use of makeup fell out of popularity and was considered to be unsightly. However, opinions changed during the Victorian era when it was popular for women to spend nearly all day focusing on improving their appearance. During this time, women began making their own mascara by mixing elderberry juice and ash together, heating it up, and then applying it to their eyelashes.
Since that time, several other formulas were invented such as a petroleum jelly and coal mixture that was quite messy. It was not until the 1950s that a more practical solution was developed when Helena Rubinstein invented a lotion based formula that came in a tube and had a brush applicator.
Things to Consider About Curling Mascara
Curling mascara comes in a variety of forms. There is no one-size-fits-all solution because everyone's eyelashes are different, as are their personal preferences. It is impossible to recommend just one version to everyone. Below are some of the options that you have to choose from when shopping.
The Mascara Brush Applicator
It is said that a good formula is 50 percent mascara and 50 percent the brush. This could not be more true, because the shape of the brush as well as the kind of bristles it has makes a big difference. For longer, separated eyelashes with more definition, people need to look for a brush with comb-like qualities. Usually these are made of silicone or some other fine rubber. For thicker and fuller looking eyelashes, people need to shop for an applicator with short, tightly spaced bristles all over it. Also available are the rubber bristles, which have the ability to grab onto the lashes better, giving them more curl.
Brushes come in straight and curved shapes. Straight applicators are popular because they make it easier to reach the corners of the eyes as well as smaller lashes. It is also easier to manipulate the lashes because the applicator can be held at several angles for each stroke.
Curved brushes tend to offer a little more curl and lift than the straight ones do. The shape also encourages the separation of lashes and minimises clumping.
Waterproofed or Water Soluble Mascara
Waterproofed mascara is designed to not come off when it gets wet. It dries quickly and is usually more stiff than water soluble mascara. Since it does not wash off, and it holds its shape well, it is convenient to wear. However, waterproof mascara is also very hard to remove. Special, oil-based removers have to be used which can be irritating to the eyes. It can also cause eyelashes to break off or be pulled out.
Water soluble mascara is much more gentle on the eyelashes and should be worn more often than the waterproof version. It is easy to remove with water and a cloth so it is less likely to cause damage to the lashes. The downside of water soluble mascara is that it tends to dry slower, meaning that the lashes do not stay as curled.
With the volumising option, the liquid formula thickens as it dries, creating fuller looking lashes. This kind of mascara is ideal for those who feel like they have fine or thin eyelashes. The only difficulty with volumising mascara is that many brands tend to clump easily, causing the eyelashes to look more like taranchula legs than beautiful lashes.
Lengthening mascara is rarely combined with a curling mascara, but occasionally a company claims that their product can do both. This type of mascara makes the eyelashes appear longer by adding conditioners and treatments that encourage growth. There have also been versions with fibres in the formula that attach to the ends of the lashes and add length. However, the fibre method has been controversial because of the risk to the eyes if the fibres break off into them.
When selecting a curling mascara to purchase, pay attention to the colours that are offered. Traditional mascara comes in jet black, black, off black, and brown. The chart below lists which colours look best with different complexions.
Best Complexion to Pair it With
Dark hair and dark skin
Dark hair and dark or light skin
Medium to dark hair with light to dark skin
Light to medium hair with light to medium skin
Of course, there are also less traditional colours such as blue and red, which people sometimes wear to parties for fun.
The Dos and Don'ts of Mascara
Mascara is flattering to wear and is relatively harmless to the lashes. For the best results and to practise safety, keep these tips in mind.
- Do: Research reviews of different brands and formulas before shopping
- Don't: Add liquid to the mascara. This can create bacteria within the cosmetic
- Do: Try putting on eye lash primer prior to putting on the mascara. This adds length and volume which gives the effect of wearing false eyelashes
- Don't: Keep mascara for more than a few months. The liquid is a potential breeding ground for bacteria
- Do: Protect the eyes when applying
- Don't: Share mascaras with other people. This risks swapping infections
- Do: Try to keep the mascara and cleansing soap out of the eyes when washing off
- Don't: Apply too many coats. This creates clumping and uneven thickness
- Do: Clean the mascara wand. The longer it is in use, the more potential it has for clumping.
Applying makeup is a great way for people to feel more attractive and confident in their appearance. Mascara in particular really brings out the eyes by framing them and making the colour of the irises stand out more. Using mascara is also said to make the eyes appear larger, something beauticians and makeup artists are always trying to achieve. In order to give the illusion of larger eyes, the lashes need to be curled up more. This is something that curling mascara was designed to do by holding the natural contour of the lashes in place. This can be achieved in even better ways if an eyelash curler is used before putting on the mascara. With the information provided, anyone can find the makeup supplies and curling mascara they need, as long as you know what you are looking for, and where to find it.